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Parents Providing for Their Children: Responsibility or Not?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Vince S., Aug 12, 2007.

  1. Vince S.

    Vince S. Resident Former Bassist

    Jan 24, 2003
    Do you believe it is a parent's responsibility to provide food, clothing, shelter, and other essentials for their child(ren)? At what age do you believe it should stop?

    This stems from an interesting conversation I had in which I heard about parents who wanted their adult child to pay back years of "owed rent" and other expenses for their care when he was minor.

  2. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    No child asked to be born. IMO, it is ridiculous to say a child owes back rent for care when that child was a minor. When a parent or parents stops providing is an idividual decision, but I believe it is their is a legal and moral obligation to care for children until they are legally old enough to go out and care for themselves.
  3. Diggler


    Mar 3, 2005
    Western PA
    Of course it is, at least until 18 or when the kid moves out of the house on their own.

    For me, it depends on what they're doing. If they're going to college, as long as they keep their grades up I'll help provide. If they decide not to go to college, they're not going to be sitting around; they can get a job and pay rent, help with utilities, etc.

    So, I guess until they're 18 which can be extended by circumstance.
  4. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    Back rent? That's insane. It was the parents decision (or lack of responsibility) that resulted in the child being born in the first place. They should be responsible for it financially until such a point that the child can reasonably be expected to provide for him/herself. If that's 18 or when the child finishes university is a decision for the parents, but it should probably not end before the end of high school.
  5. RWP


    Jul 1, 2006
    HAHA Back rent. Good luck with that one! Who in their right mind would have kids and then expect them to pay for their upbringing? :confused:
  6. I agree completely and so did my parents. Direct financial support (cash) disappeared after my 16th birthday. At that point I was old enough to work and pay for my non-essential wants.

    While I was still allowed to live at home, I was basically "cut off" after highschool. Nothing was paid for. I bought my own deoderant, toothpaste, car, insurance, underwear, food...you name it. I was reminded constantly that my living there after 18 was a favor. Anytime I needed emergency cash (car repairs and the like), I was put on a repayment schedule after I called the bank to get the current interest rate.

    I was bitter initially. Many of friends considered my situation cruel. My dad called it life. He grew up with less, left home earlier, and made it work. He wanted me to do the same, or at least appreciate that others do it everyday.

    I'm 32. I don't feel my parents neglected their duty as parents by providing as much as they could for as long as they felt neccessary. I have friends still on their parent's payroll even now. Mine didn't allow that and I'm thankful. I owe them everything I have, and not because they bought it.

  7. Visirale


    Mar 23, 2003
    Well, my parents and a lot of people we know support their kids through undergrad. Since I'm in a program where I'm getting my Undergrad and MBA together in 5 years, my parents are going to support me through that. It's a blessing and I'm very thankful for it. I plan on giving them plenty of kickbacks when I'm on my own.

    There was an oprah episode about a parent making their child pay for their upbringing. The cost was astronomical... something like 200 or 400 thousand dollars. They claimed they were making their child more thankful for their upbringing and in the end would respect the parents more. I call BS.
  8. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
  9. rap138


    May 29, 2007
    south of Spain
    parents are responsible forever!! of course you need to help your children to care for themselves, so thinking of 18 years old to let them find a job or further the studies sounds ok. but the responsibility is there forever and any attempt of dodging the ball is just simple BS. if my daughter ever needs me at any age that need was created by me at having her. I'll be there for her and never make her feel likes she owes me. I owe her everything, whatever the circumstances of her life.
  10. Poop-Loops

    Poop-Loops Banned

    Mar 3, 2006
    Auburn, Washington
    Same with me, except a different degree.

    I think you need to raise a child until s/he can support him/her self. People who say "18 and out the door" are pretty stupid, because at 18, right out of high-school, you aren't qualified for anything and the enormous life change can take quite a toll on your psyche. Suddenly you have to support yourself. But who will hire you? Want to go to school? How are you going to pay for it?

    All my parents provide for me now is food and shelter, but that is an extreme benefit. If I had to work 40 hours a week to get that + things like clothes, then I would not have time for college. I just couldn't handle it.
  11. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    My parents supported me until I graduated high school. Back then my salary supported my wants. Now it supports my needs.
  12. jady


    Jul 21, 2006
    Modesto, CA
    I am 35 in California with a stay at home wife and 3 kids. I work full time at a decent job and gig and teach on the side for more cash. I still could not survive without my parent's help every now and again. In my part of the country this is not uncommon.
  13. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois

    Necessity creates ambition. If a teen knows that the folks will take up the slack until age 20...22...25........or 37 then they have no incentive to do what's necessary to support themselves, and that's not doing them any favors.

    My folks helped me through a couple of critical situations in my early twenties, and they even came through for me in a big way last year (and I'm 39), but I always found a way to pay for my own college, rent, utilities, food, car, insurance and, eventually, a wife and daughter because I knew it was my responsibility and not theirs or anyone else's.
  14. Jonny B

    Jonny B

    Nov 5, 2006

    But sometimes the best way to help your children is to cut the financial cord. Or to let them learn a lesson or two on their own.

    Holding on to your children's hands throughout their entire lives does no service to you, them, or society in general.
  15. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    People who say what you just said are misinformed and obnoxious. Or maybe it's just you.

    Kid, you going through college via the Bank of Dad doesn't mean that there aren't other ways of living post-18 life which are totally viable. I hate bringing personal anecdotes to the table but I know several people who were entirely on their own by 18 or sooner, many of whom are doing extremely well for themselves. It's not at all uncommon. Not everyone can hack it, but being cut off at 18 is a lesson of its own, and for some people it's one of the most important ones they'll get between their teenage years and their parenting years.
  16. People who say "18 and out the door" usually have kids that are qualified for jobs and won't notice the "enormous" life change as they've been slowly living that change for a few years by 18. They are also able to answer your last three questions without breaking a sweat.

  17. Visirale


    Mar 23, 2003
    Where I think the 18 and out is a bad idea... is this.

    When you have to start providing for your bare minimums, it can become an obsession. From working my part time job in a music store I've worked with a lot of twenty somethings who were just cut off. They started making their little pay checks and providing for themselves and it becomes an obsession. They lose any ambition for something greater. My manager makes about 33k a year and thinks that it's amazing. When you're having to work to make all the small things happen, you can lose sight of the big things. Someone who is working all the time just to make ends meet is never going to think about professional school... or they'll have to draw it out over a much longer time.

    My mom's parents paid for all of her schooling through her EdD. My father paid for all of schooling on his own. My dad has no acquired sense of pride for having paid for his doctorate on his own. When the talk of my schooling began to come up when I hit my teens, it wasn't even a question--they were going to pay for it. I'm very thankful for that. I can go get all my schooling knocked out at once instead of going back to school and working and going back to school and working.

    My point is that working the jobs to "get by" can become addicting... and I'm glad it's something that I'm not going to have to do.
  18. Vince S.

    Vince S. Resident Former Bassist

    Jan 24, 2003
    I agree, and I think that one big factor is societal change. There are more and more people going to college, and unfortunately having just a high school diploma greatly limits your career options. I do know a few people from my graduating class who dove straight into the workforce after high school, but they're working minimum wage jobs (usually more than one) just to make ends meet.
  19. Chipsonfire


    Jul 20, 2007
    Socorro, NM
    I'm really glad my parents didn't kick me out at 18 cause I was about to go into my senior year of high school... Now I'm in college and they send me money every month, but I had to talk them down from what they were going to send me cause I just didn't need that much and they insisted that they would send me money. I would personally like to get myself through college, but they will have none of it. I'm very thankful of my parent's for being so stubborn :)
  20. My parents paid for me through my undergraduate education. Now that I've graduated, I'm footing the bill. No complaints thus far.

    Regarding the original post, I think the idea of paying "back rent" is absolutely ludicrous. If the idea of losing all that money forever is so offensive, don't have kids. Simple as that.

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